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Here's how happy Swedes are with the services their taxes pay for

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Here's how happy Swedes are with the services their taxes pay for
Publicly funded preschool is a pillar of Swedish society. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
07:55 CET+01:00
The cliché is that Swedes all happily pay their taxes, safe in the knowledge that the public services they receive in exchange will be of a good standard, but have you ever wondered what they really think about what they get back?

The Swedish Quality Index (Svenskt Kvalitetsindex) has helped to answer the question, having asked Swedes to rate 17 different core services delivered to them in 2016 at a municipal and council level.

A sample of 2200 people were asked to rate the different services on a scale of 0 to 100. And it turns out Swedes are particularly thrilled with their sewage and water, which was the top performer with an average rating of 76.7 out of 100.

They were followed closely by preschool (75.8), then upper secondary school (73.5).

“We work closely with citizens and these are important services which affect people in their everyday lives. So it's important that it's appreciated,” Lena Dahl, the acting president of the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions commented.

“We understand that in our industry results are staying quite still at a good and high level, compared to others where satisfaction has decreased,” she noted.

In total, Swedes said they were satisfied or very satisfied with 14 of the 17 services rated, which perhaps helps to explain why they continue to pay what is perceived to be a relatively high level of taxation compared to some other countries (though not as high as you may think).

That doesn't mean they were equally thrilled with everything though. At the bottom of the satisfaction index was individual and family care, which was graded 54 out of 100. Road maintenance meanwhile received the same rating, and showed a decrease in satisfaction compared to last year.

In total 11 different Swedish services were on the upward trajectory however, showing improved satisfaction levels since 2009.

Satisfaction levels with Swedish municipal/council services (out of 100), according to Svenskt Kvalitetsindex:

Water and sewage (76.7)

Preschool (75.8)

Upper secondary school (73.5)

Garbage and waste disposal (72.7)

Home services (72.5)

Health care (72.2)

Primary school (71.1)

Sports & recreational services (70.9)

Retirement homes (70.9)

Culture and leisure (68.2)

Municipalities and county councils (67.6)

Public transport (67.1)

Business services (62.2)

Security (61.1)

Environment and climate services (56.7)

Public information services (56.6)

Road maintenance (54.1)

Individual and family care (54.1)

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